Two teams battling for top-four finishes in La Liga will lock horns on Friday evening, as Real Sociedad welcome Real Betis to Anoeta Stadium.
Real Sociedad are currently sixth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, while Betis occupy fifth, two points ahead of their opponents in this match.
Real Sociedad have not finished higher than fifth in Spain’s top flight since claiming fourth in 2013, so it would be an impressive achievement for the Basque outfit to claim a Champions League spot for next term, but they have a lot of work to do if that dream is to become a reality.
Imanol Alguacil’s side are currently sixth in the table, eight points clear of seventh-placed Villarreal, so they are in an excellent position to claim at least a Europa League spot, but just three points separate them from fourth-placed Atletico on the same number of matches (31), so fourth position is very much open.
Real Sociedad have been in impressive form since losing 4-1 at Real Madrid on March 5, picking up 10 points from their last four league matches, including back-to-back wins over Espanyol and Elche this month.
The White and Blues have a tough end to the season on paper, taking on Barcelona in their next match after this one, while their final two league games of the campaign are against Villarreal and Atletico.
The Basque outfit have been strong in front of their own supporters this season, picking up 31 points from 15 matches, recording nine wins in the process, but they will be welcoming a Betis outfit that boast the third-best away record in 2021-22, collecting 27 points from their 15 league games on their travels.
Real Betis’ Borja Iglesias celebrates scoring their first goal with Marc Bartra on March 17, 2022© Reuters
Real Betis have not claimed a top-four spot in La Liga since 2005, meanwhile, so it would be a huge story if they managed to secure top-level European football for next season.
The Green and Whites were disappointingly knocked out by Eintracht Frankfurt in the last-16 stage of the Europa League, but they can still win silverware this season, preparing to take on Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey on April 22.
Real Betis, like Real Sociedad, also have a tough end to their La Liga season, facing both Barcelona and Real Madrid in their final four matches, and it will be fascinating to see where Manuel Pellegrini’s side end up come the end of the campaign.
The Seville-based outfit, as mentioned, are currently fifth in the table, just one point behind fourth-placed Atletico, while they are just four points behind second-placed Barcelona, so in theory, there are three Champions League spots open in the final weeks of the season.
Real Betis have also picked up 10 points from their last four league matches, recording back-to-back victories over Osasuna and Cadiz in their last two, while only Real Madrid (22) have won more games than Pellegrini’s team (17) in Spain’s top flight this season, which is an indication of their achievements thus far.